Nonprofit grocery store feeding the Cincinnati neighborhood

CINCINNATI – Meiser’s Parkview Market has been the place for Lower Price Hill residents to find neighborhood fresh groceries, entrepreneurship, and camaraderie for decades.

The doors have been closed since 2017, but the neighbors didn’t want to let go of the place.

Thanks to their efforts, a new Meiser store will open in July. But until then, the neighbors will not be able to do without their local market. That’s why the entire block transforms every Tuesday to meet the demands.

What you need to know

  • Meiser’s market is slated to open in July
  • The store offers payment for what you can model for products
  • As a non-profit grocery store runs on donations
  • The store has a weekly farmers and manufacturers market to supply the neighborhood before it opens

Reba Hennessey is the President of Your Store of the Queen City, the nonprofit owner of the new Meiser’s Fresh Grocery and Deli.

She oversaw the rebuilding of the building and the weekly farmer’s and producer’s market, and offered fresh, healthy fruit and vegetables to anyone who came by.

“Any family can come and they can take as much as they need for their family,” she said.

It’s also hard to beat the price.

Hennessey said all of the products the market has come from donations so the store can pay them forward. She accepts payment that you can model and considers any money her customers offer as a donation to the business.

“We ask you to pay it up and tell people to come because the more people come, the more sustainable we can be,” she said.

Lower Price Hill has the lowest life expectancy in the city of Cincinnati, and more than half of the families in the neighborhood live below the poverty line, according to public health data.

When Meiser was closed, there was no fresh, healthy food anywhere else in the neighborhood.

Hennessey said local residents are charged with changing that.

“People like to underestimate neighborhoods like Lower Price Hill and we have so many passionate, caring, experienced people with the best talent here and this type of project wouldn’t exist without them,” she said.

Tameca Thomas settles next to Meiser’s market

Hennessey said the neighborhood has pushed efforts to revitalize Meiser’s for access to fresh, healthy food, affordable groceries, and a place where locals can meet, organize and build local businesses. That is why the grocery store itself is run for non-profit purposes.

“We actually have some partnerships that donate food so we can give it to people for free, and then we also have some incredible shippers who will sell things through our business without us paying upfront costs,” Hennessey said.

During the weekly market, these senders lined up on the sidewalk right next to Hennessey’s stand.

Tameca Thomas from the Incline District Community Marketplace sells her spices and treats there almost every week, building a local customer base. Your products will hit the shelves at Meiser in July.

“I just love that we have a business here and that it’s not for profit, that they’re not here to try and take it,” she said. “But just make sure we eat accessible and healthy.”

When the store opened, Hennessy said half of the building will go to manufacturers like Thomas, while the other half will sell fresh groceries.

“The entire store down to the deli will be shopped here with a nice fountain for drinks and hot drinks,” said Hennessey, walking through the store.

In Meiser’s Fresh Grocery and Deli

The store has switches and fridges installed but is waiting for shelves and a deli counter to come in.

Hennessey said the pandemic delayed construction for several months, which is why the outdoor market opened last July.

“As soon as the grocery store opens, we will take out everything that happens outside and make it the core and soul of what we do inside,” she said.

Hennessey said the place is on track to hire on-site staff over the next several months.

Comments are closed.